New pharmacy school to be named after couple

Published on Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:30 - Written by From Staff Reports

Two longtime supporters of The University of Texas at Tyler, who humbly avoided the spotlight, will have their name connected to the college’s new pharmacy school.

UT Tyler announced the naming of the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy after a contribution from the Fisch Foundation, according to a university news release.

Despite the late couple’s desire to give without being recognized, their children and grandchildren decided to authorize this donation and naming as a way to honor their parents and grandparents.

“It is our pleasure to make this contribution to education and to remember our parents in this way,” said Martee Fuerst, president of the Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation board of directors, according to the release.

UT Tyler President Dr. Rod Mabry said the Fisch Foundation funds will help to cover the college’s start-up costs early on but will be replenished by the fifth year.

The full amount will then serve as a permanent endowment to provide student scholarships in perpetuity along with a faculty endowed chair and a minimum of two endowed professorships with a goal of attracting nationally known faculty, according to the news release.

“We are so pleased to have this gift, which will not only significantly contribute to the creation of this fine program, but also honor two of the most kind, loving and selfless people I’ve known,” Mabry said.

The Fisches contributed much to the East Texas community.

Dr. Ben R. Fisch, who died in 2007, was a well-respected physician who worked in Tyler for almost 30 years, according to the news release.

A native of Richmond, Va., he graduated from UT Austin in 1945 and from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1949.

He and his family came to Tyler in 1960 and he founded the Allergy Clinic. An allergy and immunology specialist, he retired in 1987.

In 2005, the Smith County Medical Alliance honored Fisch with the Gold-Headed Cane Award, which is given to a physician who demonstrates community involvement and commitment.

At UT Tyler, he served on the Cowan Center advisory board for nine years and upon his death, the center dedicated its 2007-08 season to him.

Mrs. Fisch, who died in 2002, attended UT Austin where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1945.

While there, she was a member of Rho Chi (the pharmaceutical honor society), Delta Phi Epsilon, Student Senate, Mortar Board and the Orange Jackets.

In Tyler, she was a member of Congregation Beth El (as was her husband) and its Sisterhood, the Smith County Medical Alliance, Hadassah, Quairo Literary Club and the Symphony League.

The Fisches actually met while in pharmacy school, which was in part the reason their children and grandchildren felt a connection to the UT Tyler project, according to the news release.

The Fisch College is slated to accept its first class of students in fall 2015. Mabry said the foundation funds will put the new college in high standing.

“It is very rare to be able to give a college a venerable family name at its inception, and this naming will help catapult the Fisch College into the national limelight very early on,” Mabry said. “We are truly grateful.”